Paper shopping bags have become extremely popular these days. Available in a wide variety of colors, styles and designs, paper shopping bags have become a huge hit with shoppers from all walks of life. In this article, we will discuss the main factors affecting the production of paper shopping bags.
Energy and natural resources:
It is clear that producing plastic bags is easier than making paper bags. Generally, it takes four times more energy to make a paper bag than a plastic bag. It is widely accepted that paper comes from wood pulp. Therefore, paper production is directly related to the reduction of trees in forests. According to published reports, in 1999, about 14 million trees were cut down to produce the roughly 10 billion paper grocery bags used by American citizens alone that year.
Usually, wood chips are used to make Kraft paper, to heat it under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. Millions of gallons of water often spill into waterways to cause pollution, and the burning of sawdust can contribute to air pollution.
Compared to recycling paper, recycling plastic is easier and takes less time. Recycling a kilo of plastic requires 91% less energy than a kilo of paper. Also, recycling rates are very low and output usually ranges from 10% to 15% of paper bags to 1% to 3% of recycled plastic bags.